Life happens in so many unexpected ways and it tends to expose our frailties and vulnerabilities as human beings. No matter what we are passing through, holding onto the raft of thankfulness as we drift through the different ports of life, is key.
I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles, California, and ever since I’ve inevitably lodged in a cocoon of pensiveness. It is time for me to emerge from it and share an inevitable lesson I learned. Am sure you are wondering where am traveling to with this narrative. Don’t worry, just journey with me and I promise we will arrive at the purpose in no time.
Exactly one year ago, I was in the same location in Los Angeles, California, to celebrate Thanksgiving with a very special family that is like family to me and my siblings. We were neighbors growing up and struck a deep friendship that has transcended distance and time. I was particularly excited about this trip because it was going to be the first time in decades seeing the oldest child Patricia.
On Thanksgiving Day, the excitement of finally seeing, hugging and talking to Patricia after so long was priceless. This was a golden opportunity I was grateful for. All the families present for the Thanksgiving Day party had a great time. We faced irresistible temptation with an impressive spread of assorted food, tons of laughter, fanfare, and delightful trips down memory lane. We ended the night toasting to many collective Thanksgivings and celebrations going forward. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to the week before Thanksgiving Day, 2022. Once again, I was back to my special family in California but this time around, it was for an unanticipated celebration that made no sense whatsoever. A far cry from the kind of celebration we promised to continue holding till thy kingdom come. Instead, I was there to attend Patricia’s funeral and celebrate her life. Yes, you read what you just read.
With a very heavy heart, I announce that Patricia passed away on October 13th, 2022. We are still reeling and trying to navigate through the indescribable pain. Words cannot express the torturous rollercoaster of emotions those that knew and loved her have been thrust on. Patricia was such a remarkable force of meekness, unconditional love, and benevolence to reckon with. She left no stone unturned with her compassionate and generous nature. She is so sorely missed by all and sundry. May her gentle and beautiful soul rest in perfect peace. It is still so shocking and painful.
I want to stress that tomorrow is not guaranteed. I mean, was it not just last November, three sixty-five days ago, that I was celebrating seeing Patricia in person after so long? Did I know it would be my first and last time seeing her in decades? Did I know that next Thanksgiving Day, she will be with us in spirit and not in person? Oh my, if only I knew, I would have spent time hugging, loving, talking some more, and shooting multiple pictures and videos with her. I would have made right any wrong I was aware of and so forth. I tell you, death stings like a menacing shard of glass piercing one’s soul. Only God and time can heal the gaping wound it leaves behind.
Life is indeed fleeting. Like vapor, it vanishes as suddenly as it appeared. It is imperative we are conscious of this fact and live every day with an attitude of thankfulness – like it is our last. We must strive to appreciate and celebrate each other at any given opportunity, so guilt and regret have no business plaguing us when the unexpected happens. Nothing beats giving people their flowers while they are alive. We need to make it a lifestyle. If you are not already intentionally impacting the lives of others, start today.
As you spend quality time with family and friends this Thanksgiving Day and every other day of your life, remember to celebrate and make the most of your time together. It is the right thing to do because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
May Oyairo is the Founder and Publisher of MannaXPRESS.